NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) is raising awareness of key fire safety messages for National Fire Prevention Week (October 7-13). This year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Fire can happen anywhere.” This theme, which is created by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), aims to educate consumers on three basic but imperative steps needed to reduce the likelihood of fire—and teach consumers what to do if a fire should occur.
Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. This horrific fire, which occurred in 1871, killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed over 17,000 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.
To officially launch Fire Prevention Week in Tennessee, the SFMO partnered with several Tennessee fire departments, the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Tennessee Division of Forestry, and the Tennessee Fire Service & Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) to host a Fire Prevention Week Kickoff event recently in Nashville.
“Fire Prevention Week is a long-standing tradition that prioritizes fire safety education,” said Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak. “This year’s theme is a great reminder that no one is immune to home fires, but there are precautions you can take to lessen your chances and ensure your family is safe should disaster strike.”
The SFMO and NFPA share the following tips to help you and your family stay fire safe:
Fire can happen anywhere. Look around your home for places fire can happen.
- In the kitchen, ensure items are kept away from the stovetop. Any food being cooked should be watched closely. Never leave food unattended on the stovetop.
- When using heaters, keep them at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn. Always turn heaters off when going to bed or leaving the room.
- Ensure all electrical work is done by a qualified electrician. Don’t use extension cords as a permanent solution and never run them under rugs or carpets.
Know the sound your smoke alarms make.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do if it sounds.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Go to your designated meeting place and call 9-1-1.
- Test all smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.
Learn two ways out of every room.
- Create an escape plan with all members of the household. Draw a map of each level of the home and make sure you know two ways out of every room. The SFMO has a free fire escape plan grid with instructions and handy tips on keeping your family safe.
- Practice day and nighttime home fire drills.
- If you live in a high-rise or condo, ensure you know the evacuation procedures.
NFPA has sponsored Fire Prevention Week since 1922. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the United States. For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit nfpa.org/fpw.
Additional tips for keeping your family safe from the dangers of fire can be found at tn.gov/fire.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: TDCI protects the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, Tennessee Corrections Institute, and TennCare Oversight.
To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.